Shades of Bimbos of the Death Sun

 

Does anyone remember the cult favorite cozy mystery “Bimbos of the Death Sun” by Sharyn McCrumb?  It’s about a man who writes a hard science fiction novel only have the publisher change the title and put a bimbo in a chain mail bikini on the cover.  Then he goes to his first science fiction convention and becomes involved in solving a murder there.

I know just how that character feels.

Covers that are totally wrong for a specific book have been the bane of an author’s existence ever since we started trusting publishers to produce and distribute our beloved literary children.

We’ve discussed bad cover art before. http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2008/12/28/bad-cover-competition/

My latest cover is not exactly bad cover art.  Actually it’s quite spectacular.  But it is inappropriate.  See, I wrote this quirky little cozy mystery Lacing Up For Murder, a Whistling River Lodge Mystery by Irene Radford  But give that title to a man and he won’t see frothy confections of thread and air turned into fabric.  No.  He sees BDSM, corsets and such.  This cover would be wonderful for an Urban Fantasy.  It shouts sexy, violent, urban fantasy.  I wish I’d had this cover on one of my urban fantasies.

Unfortunately, I wrote a cozy mystery where the violence and sex is off stage.  I wrote about a convention of lace makers.  There isn’t a corset in sight.  Not even a lace trimmed one.  And the gun?  Well my heroine Glenna McClain is the outdoorsy type when she isn’t running a resort hotel.  She has a gun similar to the smoking one on the cover.  But she doesn’t use it off the target range.  She does carry it while backpacking or on long, deep woods hikes.

The book description is spot on:

Running a Resort Hotel Can Be Murder.

Glenna McLain has her hands full at the Whistling River Lodge with dastardly ducks, misbehaving poodles, a kleptomaniac guest, and a lace making convention. So when she discovers her ex-husband floating in a pond on the golf course, her week goes from bad to worse.  Then she becomes the prime murder suspect.

Glenna searches for the murderer, but can she solve the mystery before the killer strikes again?

Sigh.  I hope the publisher is right and that this will sell a bazillion copies.  But will it bring repeat buyers back for the second mystery in this series?  The next book, still lacking a title I like, involves a steam tractor pull unearthing a dead body.  I think steam tractors are sexy.  Don’t know many other people who do.

http://astore.amazon.com/skywarriorbooks-20/detail/B00A3Q5MB8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lacing-up-for-murder-phyllis-radford/1020032751?ean=2940015910643

ttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/252887?ref=MHBonham

So, while you are browsing your favorite e-book distributor, think about other inappropriate covers and post links in the comments.

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5 Responses to Shades of Bimbos of the Death Sun

  1. Jess Faraday says:

    I had an opposite experience with some of the cover choices for Porcelain Dog. The dog in the book was a snarling, menacing Fu Dog, and two of the covers presented had pictures of terriers and spaniels! Ultimately, I went for a cover without the dog at all.

  2. Kate Daniel says:

    I just got back from attending my first science fiction convention (TusCon) in seven years. And I come across this! At my very first large convention as a pro, I found myself on a panel with Anne McCaffery, and it happened to be a panel on Disastrous Cover Art.

    We were asked to introduce ourselves and say why we’d wanted on *this* panel. I introduced myself, and said I’d been asked to change a character’s hair style and color, based on the cover. Thing was, it was a write-for-hire, in a series, and the girl had already been established in the series as having long, curly, black hair. The cover shot had super-short, spiked, bleached-out hair.

    Anne leaned forward, looked down the table at me, and asked, “Who did you kill?” I fell in love with her immediately. :)

    My mess actually helped me improve a weak point in the book, when the character, a 16-year-old, discovers she was adopted. She goes out and gets the punked-out style as part of her basic “you LIED to me!” reaction.

    But there’s no WAY that urban-fantasy cover (you’re right; it’d be perfect) could work for the cozy you describe! Didn’t the art department read anything but the title???

    Katie

    • Art department head is the publisher of this small press. She agreed with the male artist. “It will sell!”

      But what will it do to the sequel? A steam tractor pull unearths a dead body. I think steam tractors are sexy: big, raw power, make you all hot and sweaty…

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